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Idealog Podcast: Inside the mind of Crimson's Jamie Beaton

Digital editor Ben Mack chats with Crimson's Jamie Beaton about the future of education, why it's important for young people to invest, whether or not we're living in innovative times, and more.

To say Jamie Beaton has a lot going on would be an understatement. Not only is his company, Crimson Education, the fastest-growing services company from Auckland (according to the most recent Deloitte Fast 50 regional awards), but it's continuing an aggressive overseas push by expanding into large new markets such as Brazil, while also continuing to both refine and revamp its services as it helps students get into universities.

But that's far from all he has going on. Passionate about helping young people understand money and investing, he recently went on a worldwide tour where he gave seminars to young people about how to be a smart investor.  “Knowledge of investing and finance empowers entrepreneurship,” he told Idealog back in May. “Every person has their passions and interests. It’s about ambition and information.”

To call Beaton's background impressive would be an understatement. Raised by his mum Paula for the first five years of his life, and living in a house with his grandparents, he went from St Kentigern to King's College to Harvard, where he took roughly double the normal course load. In earning two degrees in three years, David Ager, a senior fellow at Harvard Business School who taught Beaton in a class, said he was among only three of the roughly 2,500 students he had taught over 12 years who had graduated so quickly - an undergraduate degree in the United States normally takes four years. Oh, and aside from starting Crimson and joining New York-based Tiger Global Management as its youngest-ever analyst, Beaton has also racked up more awards than a person could ever possibly know what to do with, including first prize at the Global Student Entrepreneurship Awards (GSEA, a series of competitions for student entrepreneurs who own a for-profit business) and 2016 New Zealand Innovation Awards Young New Zealand Innovator, just to name a few.

In sum: Beaton's a person who knows what it takes to succeed - and has some pretty interesting views on success and innovation. But don't take our word for it - just listen to the podcast below.